Thursday, September 23, 2021


Dear Readers,

Hein Bruyns

          For months I was using Aramex Couriers to send my books around the country at the prominently advertised price of R99.99 in leaflets in Pick n Pay where this courier service has drop boxes.  This price included the paper Waybill that had to be completed with the details of the sender and those of the recipient.

Suddenly without warning I was told I would have to pay an additional R20 if I wanted the Waybill. The alternative was to load my information digitally at no extra cost. But for those who have no internet access it makes the catchy price of R99.99 completely untrue and nowhere in the adverting leaflets that I found in the drop box at Pick n Pay was this R20 mentioned.

Then there is the difficulty that Aramex has in arriving at exactly how many drop boxes it has in Pick n Pay stores.  One leaflet claimed they were in “over 1000 stores nationwide” while in another one the figure had dropped by a staggering 40% to “over 600 stores nationwide.”

I asked Hein Bruyns Aramex’s Communications and Customer Experience Executive why the number of  Pick n Pay stores they were supposed to be in varied so much in their advertising leaflets and why the additional R20 for a paper Waybill was not mentioned?

He denied that they had a problem telling the truth in their advertising and assured me that the “issue regarding the leaflets had been addressed with Pick n Pay’s head office and we have been assured this would be sorted out this week,” whatever that means.

“How many Pick n Pay stores exactly does Aramex have its drop boxes in”? I asked. “Surely that’s a simple enough question to answer.”

“Our current Store-to Door network consists of the following: Pick n Pay 681; Shoprite 484; Fresh Stop 200 and Other 19.”

Having Aramex in 681 Pick n Pay stores is a far crying from making “over 1000 stores” the truth.

I would have thought that Pick n Pay would have checked the accuracy of advertising that appears in its stores so that its customers don't get given the wrong information.

Pick n Pay’s National Consumer Services Manager Mary-Anne Hattingh introduced a comical side to this story when she told me that Aramex was only in “approximately 130” Pick n Pay stores.  If the group itself could not get the number right what hope had Aramex?

However when I gave her the figure of 681 that Bruyns had given me she replied: “My apologies it is 681 stores, this is my mistake.”

She explained that what Aramex was doing was the first step in going digital. “The sleeve still costs R99 and we are encouraging customers to go the digital route.” Hardly “encouraging” them more like pricing them into doing it. “I am looking into the updated communication that explains the process plus the additional R20 should a customer not wish to go the digital route. I will get back to you on that.”

This she never did.


Jon, a Consumer Watchdog who believes there are too many half truths and some very suspect claims in advertising.



No comments:

Post a Comment